SCHS Foundation 5K : Smoky Bear Turkey Chase 2017

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It was my second year to run the Sevier County High School ‘Smoky Bear Turkey Chase’ on Thanksgiving morning. This is a great way to get moving or get a workout in before the main event—a fabulous holiday lunch. It also funds a STEM scholarship for a student at the high school. Here is how it went this year…

The picture above shows Smoky and student volunteers staying warm in the 37 degree morning temps. Brrrrrrrrr….!

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A wild turkey helped me to find the designated parking area.

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More student volunteers held signs of humorous encouragement.

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I registered online through Eventbrite so I breezed through the pre-registration line. Nancy Trundle Hewitt, Executive Director of the SCHS Foundation, greeted me at the table. Student and alumni helped us with bibs and runners swag. Many, many thanks to all that they did to carry out this race.

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I was happy to meet this visitor from Alabama. It was her first time to do this 5K. She does half-marathons so the Turkey Chase was good training during the holiday. She found the race through this blog so I was thrilled to hear that news!

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Veteran runners, Kristi Sims Atchley and Julie Nave support the SCHS Foundation 5K race. Kristi definitely had the holiday spirit and best headwear.

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Terra Blalock Bice and sons prepare to run!

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My friends, Kathy Helton and Heidi Ludwig. This was Heidi’s first 5K race. She rocked it!

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SCHS alumni, Nathan and Valerie Mills run a good race, then spend the day with family in Sevier County.

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People are (mostly) bundled up before the race. Temps were in the upper 30s at start time.

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Student volunteers stand on the course and help runners during the race. The signs always make you smile!

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This is a wonderful activity for families. This father and son are ready to run.

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I like the roll call of participant ‘states’ to see where people were from. The guy from Florida walked by and yelled, “it is too cold!”

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A SCHS Choir member sang the National Anthem. Bravo!

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Racing runs in the family.

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A family from Seymour with relatives from Ohio and Oklahoma.

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SCHS alumni racers: Andrew Newton and Kacee Dixson. They graduated in the Class of 2011.

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City of Sevierville officials race too!

IMG_3637This lady races in half and full marathons and loves the Disney races. Today was good conditioning and training for her upcoming race through the Magic Kingdom.

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It was good to see sponsor signs along the course. Many thanks to them for their sponsorship.

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Jaclyn Kile prepares to cross the finish line.

You really, really, really enjoy a doughnut after the race.

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Victory!

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Having fun before the winners are announced.

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Student volunteers are integral to the success of this event. Good job!

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These students helped with water, concessions, standing on the course, and more. Thank you for your help today!

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This was the sweetest brown dog. He/she didn’t run today, but did root us on!

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There was a delay with scores so I had to leave before the winners were announced. The cold was a factor for the race in other ways too. My fully charged IPod lost power before I even finished my race. I had to run the last lap in quiet instead of listening to my finishing tune. A friend’s phone stopped working too so we suspect the cold played a part in that. Nevertheless, weather makes races interesting so we will see what it holds next year.

This is a great way to exercise while getting out and about in Sevierville. Save me a place in the back of the starting line and see you in 2018!

 

 

 

The Best Thanksgiving 5 K Race in Tennessee ( Part 1) : Smoky Bear Turkey Chase 2016

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I found the best little Thanksgiving 5K in Tennessee—and it is right here in Sevierville. Although I wasn’t feeling that great Thanksgiving morning, I made my way to SCHS to see the race for myself, and maybe just to run a 1 K.. It held a lot of fun surprises. Here is what happened…

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There were a lot of cars in the vocational school area. Racers, volunteers, and well wishers were heading to the stadium.

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These racers were ready to go.

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Registration, T-shirts, food, merchandise, and rest rooms under the stadium roof.

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Check in was quick and easy. Nancy Trundle Hewitt, Executive Director of the SCHS Foundation, wished us well. She is the force behind this group and we appreciated all her leadership, especially on Thanksgiving morning.

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Kristi Sims Atchley and her daughters were ready to run. At least one of them has run in a St. Jude’s race in Nashville. Young veteran racers here.

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Leia Loveday is a veteran runner and was ready move!

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Kariss Waite and her husband support the SCHS Foundation and raced really well. A SCHS alum, Kariss hasn’t raced in about a year, but wanted to support the science classes.

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The Smoky Bear mascot and a turkey encouraged the racers minutes before the race.

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Always take a camera to this race. So fun!

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Finish line ready to go.

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Front line racers warming up and ready to go.

When the starting gun rang out, I was actually tying my shoe! I couldn’t believe it. However, all went well and I didn’t lose any seconds. Many thanks to the SCHS Junior who videoed the start so I could be in line with the racers and not lose any time. Thanks!

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Official time keeper for the race. He was busy taking pictures, video, stats, etc. The course included one lap on the track, run up the road by the visitor’s gate, up to the back parking lot, run across the back row toward the vocational school, take a right on the main entrance, return to the stadium and down to the track. Repeat 2 more times. It was mostly flat, except for the slight incline up to the visitors gate. However it was great because you were always on campus and near help, bathrooms, shelter, etc.

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Dean of LMU Law School, Gary Wade, and Coppley Vickers support the Sevier County High School Foundation to raise money for Dr. Suzanne South’s Science lab. Proceeds also support a STEM scholarship.

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Waiting for racers to finish and to hear the awards presentation.

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Having fun waiting for the awards results.

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This family came from two separate states to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Sevier County. They like to run 5 Ks and Googled to find this race. They rented a cabin for the holiday, but started Thanksgiving with this 5 K.

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This is a Sevier County family out for an early run. The mother works at Pigeon Forge Primary School.

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SCHS volunteers got to the stadium at 6:00 a.m. to prepare for the Smoky Bear Turkey Trot. Thank you!

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It was fun to read the posters meant to motivate runners.

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That must have been a workout pushing up the hill to the visitor’s gate.

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Gary Wade finishes strong. The Smoky Bear mascot congratulates with a high five.

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The crowd waiting for awards presentations.

I am dividing this blog story into two parts because there was an adventure sports celebrity in attendance for the event. In an hour, I will publish the second part of this article. We will see some awards and I’ll introduce you to the adventure sports celebrity. I got the scoop!